Security forces overnight Saturday arrested two more relatives of a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed to death three members of an Israeli family in Halamish last month, the army said.
The two, who were not identified, were arrested in the Palestinian village of Kobar, north of Ramallah, on suspicion that they knew of Omar al-Abed’s plans to carry out the stabbing on July 21.
Hours after the attack, the IDF raided Abed’s home in Kobar, mapped it for demolition and arrested another one of his brothers, whom officials suspect aided the terrorist in carrying out the attack.
In the ensuing days, the army also arrested Abed’s mother, Ibtisam, for “aggravated incitement,” after she appeared in a widely shared video praising her son’s actions.
Abed’s father, Abd al-Jalil, who was arrested in the initial raid, told the Haaretz daily last month that his son’s actions were understandable.
On the eve of July 21, 19-year-old Abed left his village, climbed over the Halamish fence, and knocked on the door of the Salomon home.
The family had been celebrating the birth of a new grandson and thought that Abed was the first guest to arrive. Shortly after walking in, the young Palestinian took out his knife and stabbed to death Yosef Salomon, 70, and his two children, Chaya, 46, and Elad, 36. Yosef’s wife, Tova, sustained several stab wounds to her back but survived.
An off-duty IDF soldier heard the screams, grabbed his gun and shot the terrorist through the Salomons’ kitchen window, wounding him.
Although there has been considerable political support, notably from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for seeking the death penalty against Abed, the Military Advocate General’s office, which will try the case in an IDF court, said that the punishment is not Israeli policy, despite it being permissible under law.
In addition to detaining Abed’s relatives, security forces arrested 25 Palestinians in overnight raids across the West Bank. Twenty-two of the suspects were said to have been involved in violent disturbances against civilians and soldiers.